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Mayor lauds North Shore efforts

LIHUE — Kauai officials say the rocky start to reopening Kuhio Highway past Waipa was expected, and they’ve been making adjustments as needed to rules and operations on the North Shore.

The shuttle operated by The Hanalei Initiative is in full swing, parking is being policed, and residents in the area are taking it upon themselves to collect data for state departments.

A group calling itself “Kuhio Highway Regulation” is tallying the number of cars visiting the Haena area, as well as providing information on a new website.

“On the North Shore, everything is still a work in progress, but I am optimistic that we are making positive steps towards a harmonious system thanks to the strong partnerships and collaboration between our state, county, and non-government organizations such as the Kauai Visitors Bureau and The Hanalei Initiative, and of course the Wainiha-Haena community,” said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami.

He pointed out that the Haena State Park Master Plan is being implemented, and said improvements to the park have “significantly lowered the impact of overcrowding at that site.”

“These are all steps in the right direction,” Kawakami said.

Kauai police officers from Hanalei to Kee have been monitoring parking.

“Our officers have also been working special enforcement projects at varying hours of the day throughout the week,” said KPD spokeswoman Kim Tamaoka.

Since the road opening, KPD has issued at least 10 parking citations, and warnings as well.

“The increased presence of officers in the area has reduced the interest and opportunity to park illegally,” Tamaoka said.

Overall, KPD says enforcement of parking rules has been “adequate,” thanks to multiple-agency partnerships, higher fines, new signage and public education.

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Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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